It seems that the HBO fictional film Recount has triggered some horrible memories of vote suppression and fraud perpetrated by the evil Republicans. At least that is the allegation circulating in the leftwing blogosphere. One of the most specific of these allegations comes from the Democratic Underground where a DUer by the screen name of "Lorien" has made some rather shocking charges about betrayal by a high level Democrat campaign official and intimidation of minority voters by a racist cop in the Orlando FL area. Let us join Lorien as she lays out her charges in the DU thread, RECOUNT: My own Florida election day 2000 nightmare (emphasis mine):
As always, I volunteered with my local Democratic party (Orange county, FL in 2000) during the election year. I was appalled by the attitude of the director of our downtown HQ "Jared" towards Gore: "We won't be focusing on the Presidency here because we can't win it. We'll work for our local candidates instead". Jared stated. He didn't even order more than a handful of Gore bumper stickers or lawn signs to give away to supporters because "signs don't win elections", and what we did have on hand he charged the public for. $5 for a bumper sticker, $10 per lawn sign. Many Democrats who came in left empty handed and grumbling "well, if they are going to take THAT attitude then why bother? I don't have to go anywhere on election day". Despite my hectic schedule as a self employed illustrator and animator, I volunteered to man the front desk and phones just to improve relations and slip good Democrats a few free stickers and signs.
Lorien's suspicions about "Jared" grew when he mysteriously increased the cost of the campaign paraphernalia:
In the final weeks he jacked up the price to $8 for a sticker and $20 for a sign. Democrats aren't the wealthiest lot, so that was a bit uncalled for. It turned voters off, and that, I believe was a very bad thing indeed. I personally bought muffins and other bakery items from Costco and sold them at the front desk, using the money to buy stickers and signs for those who wanted them but couldn't pay.
And when "Jared" jacked the prices up to a full $25, that really set off the alarm bells for Lorien:
I was standing by the front desk one evening when a middle aged couple came in for signs and button. They were told that that would be $25.00 for one of each.
Finally comes the accusation by Lorien that "Jared" was a mole whose purpose was to sabotage the Gore campaign:
I still think that "Jared" was a mole while the rest of us were making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, delivering absentee ballots, etc. he was always there reading CNN online or surfing the net. He wouldn't place orders for supplies for weeks at a time. He pissed off voters who came in to volunteer. I locked horns with him many times, but he would never take any kind of significant action personally to help the cause. I wonder who the hell had put him there.
Perhaps "Jared" was a sleeper agent assigned by Karl Rove to undermine the Gore campaign in Florida. At least according to popular leftwing fantasies. But as ridiculous as the paranoia about "Jared" sounds, it doesn't come close to matching Lorien's racist cop story:
But those annoyances were NOTHING compared to what I experienced on election day. I was taken into an all minority section of town to distribute Democratic voter guides (lists of candidates and our positions on the issues) outside of the polling place. I had to stand 20 feet or more from the front door and was eyed warily by the only other white person there, a cop. Once voters started arriving the cop started intimidating them-especially the elderly and women. "What ya gonna do when your boy loses, huh? Ya gonna CRY when your boy loses"? he sneered in their faces. I was absolutely shocked by his behavior ;I had grown up in a liberal college town in the midwest and had never seen such unprofessional and stereotypical "southern white cop" behavior in action before.
Lorien was so absolutely shocked by this cop's behavior that she never bothered to note the officer's name or badge number. Apparently the voters were so intimidated by this police officer that they were too frightened to report on his unprofessional conduct except for Lorien who mentioned this incident to "Jared" the Betrayer:
I went back to HQ during lunch and told Jared what was happening. "We're getting a lot of complaints from every minority precinct about police intimidation, but there are so many other problems right now we can't deal with it" he didn't elaborate.
So why haven't we heard of these and other such incidents related by Lorien? An answer is provided:
I was shocked, however, that NONE of these local stories made it into the Orlando Sentinel or any other Florida papers or news outlets. Thousands of affidavits had been signed, but the media didn't give a crap.
...My next door neighbor is the news director for our local PBS station, and even she won't do a story about it because her boss-a repug-won't allow those kinds of stories. Neither she nor her top reporters even knew that these things had happened!
Oh yes. The media didn't report it because they are a notorious hotbed of "repugs," especially PBS. Fortunately "Recount" has given new hope to Lorien that these repressed memory stories about Election 2000 will finally be revealed:
...If my story doesn't reinforce the realities of that day, maybe the movie "RECOUNT" will; Florida went for Gore but was stolen By BushCo.
Perhaps Lorien's tragic Election 2000 story will now be made public. In fact I completely agree with a DUer who had this advice for Lorien:
Please send this off as an OP to as many newspapers as you can think of. It is an important experience and we need to keep shoving it in front of the American public's collective face.
It is an important experience that, when the laughter stops, needs to be investigated. Of course, there is the strong possibility that Lorien's story will end up as about as valid as thousands of other similar Election 2000 tales that were investigated by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Here is part of what the Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ reported about the electoral abuse phenomenom of 2000 in a letter to the U.S. Senate:
As I summarized in my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 21, 2002, beginning November 7, 2000 the Department of Justice received many calls from citizens voicing concerns about the election and subsequent events, the total eventually reaching about 11,000. The Civil Rights Division's Voting Section coordinated efforts to handle and review these calls. Very few of the callers, however, relayed substantive information indicating a possible violation of the federal voting rights laws enforced by the Civil Rights Division. In fact, most calls came from outside Florida, and the vast majority - over 95% - simply expressed opinions or vented frustrations about daily events in the ongoing election
The rest of that same letter knocks down the major charges of the time alleging voter suppression or fraud. Perhaps the same Civil Rights Division will have to go back into action again to investigate all the repressed "memories" triggered by HBO's fictional film "Recount."
For those of you who appreciate great comedy of the paranoid variety, you can read a lot more material from that DU thread at the DUmmie FUnnies including this gem:
It was our local rank and file Fascists that stole 2000 and 2004. And how they were all co-ordinated, I'll never know I guess. The cop, the election worker, even the do nothings in local dem management, the religious righties. They must have been under instructions to foul up things however they could because they are the ones who were at fault for most of it. Sure, the voters were caged and the machines were rigged but it seemed like the rank and file zombies in our midst they were the ones who robbed us.